Can You Hear Us Now?

Last Friday night at 10pm, we had a power outage while some equipment maintenance was being performed. When power was restored a few hours later, we worked on getting all our signals back up, and by Saturday morning, we confirmed our over-the-air signal was fine, as were the feeds going to Charter and Hawaiian Tel cable systems. (DISH and DirecTV take our over-the-air signal.)

However, later in the day we  learned that DISH and DirecTV subscribers were not getting audio due to a system incompatibility between the audio we feed and the audio they process.

That problem has since been resolved. However, if you are still having audio problems, please send me an email (pkihara@kikutv.com) to let me know. In your email, please let me know how you are receiving KIKU: over the air, by cable (Charter or Hawaiian Tel), or by satellite (DISH or DirecTV). Thank you.

Why we can re-air some programs and can’t re-air others

Many viewers write me with their suggestions to re-air programs we aired in the past. I receive suggestions all the time from people asking us to replay old taiga dramas or Oshin or old samurai dramas. Conversely, I also receive comments asking why we are re-airing programs we recently aired, like Lone Wolf with Cub or Seven Detectives.

I thought it would help to explain why we can re-air some programs and cannot re-air others.

You see, we don’t own the programs we air. We license them from rights holders and each program we license comes with strict terms that govern the dates and number of times we must run the program. This is why we can’t just pull old programs we’ve aired before off the shelf to air again anytime we choose. Once a license expires, we don’t have that option. We would need to re-license the programs and pay a fee all over again. The programs we are re-airing right now fall within our license agreement terms and have to be re-aired.

Still, I love hearing your suggestions about programs you’d like to see. It helps serve as a guide when we are researching new programs to license. Please keep your suggestions coming.

Ja ne, Phyllis

Be Counted!

For the past several months, announcements about the 2020 Census have been broadcast on KIKU-TV and many other media. These announcements remind us to participate in the 2020 Census, an event that takes place only once every 10 years. It’s important that every person living here is counted because the results determine funding for our communities, our public services, our neighborhoods, and even our representation in Washington D.C.

Last week it was announced that the deadline for gathering census data has been changed to September 30, 2020. This is a full month earlier than the previous deadline and includes counting by phone, on-line- and door-to-door!

If you haven’t already been counted, there is still time to do so. Go to 2020census.gov. You will find instructions in English as well as many other languages. Be counted. It’s important.

Ja ne,

Phyllis

2019 Taiga Drama and Oshin

Happy New Year!

You may have already heard that KIKU will not be airing NHK’s 2019 Taiga Drama, Idaten. I wanted to provide you with a little bit of background behind this.

Each year since 1963, NHK has produced a year-long taiga drama based on the life of a key figure in Japanese history. KIKU first began airing NHK’s taiga dramas around 1993, and has been airing them every year since.

Next year, for the first time in 25 years, KIKU will not be airing NHK’s taiga drama.

The 2020 Summer Olympics are scheduled to take place in Tokyo, and to gear up, NHK produced Idaten, a taiga drama based upon two historical figures who shaped Japanese Olympics history. Idaten utilizes historical Olympic footage, and because of the strict rules governing the use of this footage in the U.S., KIKU is prohibited from airing it.

NHK requested and received permission from the IOC to air Idaten on its affiliated cable station, TV Japan, with the understanding that because this station is targeted to Japanese-speaking viewers only; there would be no English subtitles. So Idaten is being shown in the U.S., after all, but only on TV Japan.

Faced with the knowledge we would not be able to air Idaten, we thought long and hard about a program to replace it.

We considered airing a taiga drama produced prior to 1993, the first year we began airing the taiga drama.

We even considered re-airing a taiga drama we had aired before.

In the end, we decided to bring back a well-loved program that many of you have requested over and over: Oshin.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Oshin, it is a story about the life of a woman, beginning from the time she was only seven years old and continuing through the end of her life.

More than that, it is a story of hardship, perseverance, determination, and courage.

If you have not seen Oshin before, it is a program worth watching. If you have, it is a program worth watching again.

KIKU-TV is proud to present Oshin in 2019. New episodes will air each Tuesday and Sunday nights, starting February 5 at 8pm and February 10 at 7pm.

Please don’t miss it!

And again, Happy New Year from all of us at KIKU.

Programming Notes

Did anyone else think the first 10 minutes of Prison Princesses was confusing? Multiple flashbacks made it hard to follow, even for me! There will be more flashbacks in the episodes to come, but knowing what to expect should make it easier to follow the story.

We’re so happy with your positive response to Lone Wolf With Cub. We only licensed 26 episodes to begin with because we weren’t sure how this show would be received. Now that we know you like the show, we’ll be licensing more to air in 2019. Until then, we’ll be re-running the first 26 episodes starting in about a month.

Please keep your comments coming; it really helps!

Hope to see you at the KIKU booth at the Mo’ili’ili Summer Fest!

Ja, ne!

Lone Wolf With Cub

Thank you to all of you who have called or written to let us know you are enjoying the Lone Wolf with Cub series. This show was one of my personal favorites when I was growing up, and I’m so glad we were finally able to get it on KIKU. It took us more than five years to work out the details, but isn’t it worth it?

Let us know if you agree.

Ja, ne!

To our viewers who subscribe to Oceanic (Spectrum):

Oceanic (Spectrum) is making changes to the services they provide to cable subscribers. If you are a Spectrum subscriber and you currently connect the cable line directly into your television (versus through a cable box), you will lose the ability to receive any channels within the next month. You may have already received a notice from Spectrum informing you of this. Please do not ignore the notice. You will need to order equipment by February 13, 2018, in order to continue to watch KIKU and other channels on your television.

If you already have an existing set-top-box, you should not be affected by this change.

Kohaku (Red and White Song Contest) Poll

Thank you for participating in our Kohaku poll and sharing your comments regarding the show. The results were overwhelmingly and resoundingly in favor of us continuing to air the Red and White Song Contest.

It was especially heartening to read your comments. Many of you wrote about Kohaku being a long-standing New Year’s tradition in your homes. Others reminisced of watching the show with your grandparents and parents when you were children. Many shared that Kohaku keeps you connected to your Japanese culture. And even those of you who prefer enka had positive, thoughtful comments about how Japan is changing, and Kohaku needs to change with the times.

So thank you again for letting us know how you feel. Your feedback is valued and appreciated.

Happy New Year!

Phyllis Kihara

 

Sayonara to Soko ga Shiritai

Yes, we’re saying sayonara to Soko ga Shiritai. After more than 20 years on KIKU, this Friday, 3/24/17, will be the last time we play the show.

We are sad, excited and nervous all at the same time. Sad because Soko ga Shiritai has been such a regular part of our lives for so long. The show had a great concept and was very well produced. It took us to Japan’s famous sites as well as its not so famous quaint back alleys, all the while sharing interesting things about the places, people, and foods of Japan. Its visiting reporters were people we could relate to, and they asked questions we were curious about, too. To this day, people still tell me their interest in visiting Japan was first spurred by watching Soko ga Shiritai.

Excited because although it’s the end of an era, it’s time to learn new things, see new places, and meet new people! We are the first to admit Soko ga Shiritai episodes are dated and have been played and replayed. And replayed. But it’s been difficult to find a replacement, especially at a price we could afford. Japanese programming is extremely expensive, which has made finding a replacement for Soko ga Shiritai extremely challenging. But you deserve to see the Japan of today and we’re excited to share more current programs about Japan with you.

And finally, nervous because there is no show being produced today that is exactly like Soko ga Shiritai. Many have tried to imitate it, but no one show is an exact replica. And since Soko ga Shiritai is no longer being produced, our solution has been to find a series of different programs with similar concepts that focus on the places, people, and foods of Japan. The first in this series is a program titled “Kaze ni Fukarete” or “The Current”. You’ll even recognize one of the hosts, Hiroshi Sekiguchi, from another KIKU show, Dotchi.  Please give these new shows a try and let us know what you think.

To usher in Soko ga Japan, we’re giving away a trip for two to Japan! Please tune in to Soko ga Japan starting Monday, March 27 for a chance to win. Each Monday and Thursday, we’ll be giving you a clue about somewhere in Japan. Each Tuesday and Friday, we’ll be giving you the answer to the previous night’s clue. There will be two questions/answers per week for five weeks. Collect the correct answers for all five weeks, then send in your 10 answers to KIKU-TV. We will randomly select a winner from all of the correct entries.

Monday – clue

Tuesday – answer to Monday’s clue

Thursday – clue

Friday – answer to Thursday’s clue

Thank you for supporting KIKU-TV and Soko ga Shiritai for so many years. We look forward to sharing more of Japan with you through Soko ga Japan.

Ja, ne!